From the Washington Post
Finding the Proper Epitaph -- by Dan Froomkin
A fairly exhaustive outline of the devastation Bush is leaving behind-- and his attempt to redirect our attention at the 11th hour. Just as if there were something to redirect our attention to. It's pretty hard, though, to create propaganda when we've been here all along watching him as he dismantled the country brick by brick.
Robert Scheer of the San Francisco Chronical writes, "The shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist is now a venerated celebrity throughout the Mideast. . . , and his words to the president - as he threw his second shoe, 'This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,' a reminder that we have used much deadlier force than a shoe in the shock-and-awe invasion once celebrated in the American media as a means of building respect for democracy."
One particular phrase from Bush's interview with ABC News's Martha Raddatz, right after the shoe-throwing incident, seems to be taking on some resonance. Bush said al Qaeda chose to make a stand in Iraq, Raddatz pointed out that al Qaeda hadn't even been in Iraq until the U.S. invaded -- and Bush replied: "Yeah, that's right. So what?"
And from the transcript of Time Magazine's interview with Obama:
Q. "When voters look at your Administration two years from now, in the off-year election, how will they know whether you're succeeding?"
Obama: "I think there are a couple of benchmarks we've set for ourselves during the course of this campaign. On [domestic] policy, have we helped this economy recover from what is the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? Have we instituted financial regulations and rules of the road that assure this kind of crisis doesn't occur again? Have we created jobs that pay well and allow families to support themselves?
Have we made significant progress on reducing the cost of health care and expanding coverage? Have we begun what will probably be a decade-long project to shift America to a new energy economy?
Have we begun what may be an even longer project of revitalizing our public-school systems so we can compete in the 21st century?
"On foreign policy, have we closed down Guantánamo . . . , put a clear end to torture and restored a balance between the demands of our security and our Constitution?
Have I drawn down U.S. troops out of Iraq, and have we strengthened our approach in Afghanistan -- not just militarily but also diplomatically and in terms of development?
And have we been able to reinvigorate international institutions to deal with transnational threats, like climate change, that we can't solve on our own?
"And outside of specific policy measures, two years from now, I want the American people to be able to say, 'Government's not perfect; there are some things Obama does that get on my nerves. But you know what? I feel like the government's working for me. I feel like it's accountable. I feel like it's transparent. I feel that this is a President and an Administration that admits when it makes mistakes and adapts itself to new information, that believes in making decisions based on facts and on science as opposed to what is politically expedient.'"
Click here for the complete text.
Oh, and by the way: Bush has apparently helped Iraq's economy. The cobbler who made the famous shoes has had to hire more staff in order to keep up with the orders for them.
Way to go, Bush! Go speak in more countries -- maybe you can bring the world economy back from the brink you and the other Reaganites have driven us to.